He moved out of the house that was stubbornly left standing after the blast.
Now, Michael Kempi is back in Boden as a business developer for Fortum’s new initiative
Fortum’s waste management will be inaugurated on September 14th near the Boden Cleantech Center at Brännkläppen. This is the first phase of the 23 hectare site.
– We will start with a smaller permit in 2023. This means that we are a normal waste facility for treatment and landfill. But we can also handle really difficult waste such as PFAS,” says Michael Kempi, Business Developer at Fortum Waste Solutions.
PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) is an umbrella term for a large and complex group of more than 10,000 identified substances. The substance is used in some firefighting foam to extinguish liquid fires. This has resulted in PFAS-contaminated soil at fire training fields and areas near civil and military airports.
– This is a problem in Boden and Norrbotten, but it is not the only thing that makes Boden interesting for us. We see Boden as a central location for a region with a lot of waste that needs to be taken care of, and we can contribute there.
The company is also working on developing technologies to remove PFAS from soil and water and recycle the material. Instead of the current approach of storing the contaminated mass.
Boden as a location is strategically chosen, but for Michael Kempi, there are clear connections since he has worked with the Armed Forces before and was partially living in the municipality. From a distance, he has been following decommissioning and developments since the early 90s.
– I was watching the news when suddenly there was a report from Boden. There was suddenly my house that they had tried to blow up, but it refused to fall to the ground,” he says, referring to the twin houses on Sveavägen.
Cooperation with H2GS
Shortly after Fortum’s decision to establish itself in Boden, it was announced that they will be neighbors with H2 Green Steel.
– A good situation suddenly became better for us. We see H2 Green Steel as a natural partner where we will be able to take care of and recycle their waste products.
Is it technology that exists today?
– The technology exists within the company, but we will develop it specifically for H2 Green Steel if they are interested.
Fortum already has plans to expand its operations in Boden. Work on a major environmental permit is already underway and is expected to be in place by January 1, 2026.
– We have only used a few percent of the capacity of our land and we do not rule out buying additional land in the future. We see Boden as an excellent place to develop the company.
Boden was chosen largely for strategic reasons. The proximity to Luleå, the history of the armed forces in Boden and the connection to the ore fields. But Michael Kempi also highlights the treatment from the municipal sector.
– I have worked in many places in Sweden and I have not experienced the kind of good treatment anywhere in Sweden that we have received in Boden. Everything has been very easy. We have received enormous help with building permits and in the dialog linked to the environmental side. It is indeed unique, I must say.